Skip to main content

Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

See other formats


86                                         FLORA   INDICA.
have had a common origin, did not the Afghanistan specimens
blend their characters, or show the transition between them.
The botany of our eastern frontier is less known than that*
of any other part of India, and, indeed, it is to it alone that
we look for any considerable amount of novelty; for though
the'upper Assam valley and Mishmi hills have been investi-
gated by Griffith, and Lower and Middle Ava by "Wallich,
their united materials are not extensive; whilst the upper
valley of the Iravvadi, Manipur, and the other districts east
and south of Cachar, are wholly unknown. Griffith, indeed,
botanized in the Huktim valley, but his collections from that
country .have not hitherto been made available to botanists.
The whole of the Malayan Peninsula is also included in our
Flora; for though the British settlements of Ponang, Ma-
lacca, and Singapur, comprise but a small proportion of the
peninsula, they may be sirpposcd to represent well the Flora
of so narrow a tract of land, whose climate and physical fea-
tures are almost uniform throughout.
It will thus be seen that the limits of the Flora Indica ex-
tend from the 36th parallel of north latitude to the equator,
and from about the 62nd to the 105th degree of east longi-
tude ; the area of land embraced being little less than two
millions of square miles. This is by far the greatest tropical
or subtropical area that has ever been made the subject of one
Flora; and at the same time it is the most varied, including
every climate, from the burning heat and absolute drought of
the deserts of Siud, to the humid jungle* of the Malayan pe-
ninsula, and to the everlasting snows of the Himalaya. Eu-
rope, which (to the regret of every botanist) haH never been
•made the subject of one Flora, considerably exceeds India in
superficial area, containing three and a half millions of aquaro
mites; and it presents several geographical points which afford
familiar standards of comparison for distance** in India, Thus,
the distance iu latitude from Ceylon to Tibet is ju it that from
Gibraltar to the Orkneys, or from the Gulf of Finland to the
Morca, The? greatest breadth of our limits iu longitude is from